Stylearc Ellie-Mae

Ever since Stylearc put out their cold shoulder patterns I have been torn.  On the one hand I loved the idea of a cold shoulder top.  On the other hand I had reservations about whether these are appropriate for middle age and more importantly what would these be like to wear!  I lead a fairly active life so keeping my arms safely at my side at all times is never going to happen.  In fact the most inactive activity that I do outside of work is to sew and even then, arm action is certainly required.  Eventually though I caved.  The only way I was going to get this little worm of an idea out of my head was to actually make one up.  So I popped onto Etsy and snapped up Ellie- Mae.  Why Ellie-Mae and not Cara?  Well this is what Stylearc have to say about Ellie-Mae:

This on-trend top/tunic dress is a gorgeous look with its flattering, elastic off the shoulder neckline. The raglan sleeve allows this style to flow beautifully. Soft ruffles fall from the hemline and the sleeves. Design your own look, why not use a wide lace for the ruffles? We made the top with a hem ruffle and the tunic dress without a ruffle. The choice is yours. The elastic neckline allows you to wear it off the shoulder or alternatively up on the shoulder for a more stayed look.  Wear the top with jeans or use the longer length as a tunic over your favourite pants, or as a dress.

Because Stylearc say this top can be worn on the shoulders, I chose this pattern over Cara.  I still wasn't 100% convinced though so for my first version I chose some op shop cotton shirting as a trial.

I did  change the pattern and  added shoulder straps to enable me to wear a bra.  Not being a strapless bra fan, this was non negotiable.  I also added length to the entire top.

I must admit, that although the top looks rather good on, I still feel rather meh about the resulting top.  Fussing with the elastic on a regular basis would drive me absolutely nuts and that is exactly what happens with this top.  As for wearing it on my shoulders as Stylearc suggest, well, that would only be possible if I didn't mind cutting off the circulation to my armpits.    Would I make it again?  Nope!  I should have trusted my initial judgement and left this style for everyone else.  For me, function really does trump looks and while this is a great looking top this style simply isn't me.  Time to move on!


  1. Looks good for a spot of beachwalking, but the elastic fussing would do me in too.

  2. The top looks good on you and perfect for sunny days on the beach. However, I totally agree with your review as to the usefullness of such a design. I too would be constantly adjusting the elastic as I rarely spend time with my arms straight at my sides. I don't know how women wear such tops all day.

  3. Your top looks lovely and I appreciate you doing the research for other cold shoulder fence sitters like me! I agree with you. I want comfort and practicality, not to mention sun protection. I'm skipping this trend!

  4. Thanks for your honest review Andrea. The top looks lovely on you, but I understand the comfort and practicality being an issue. Your photos are gorgeous...looks like a great spot.


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